Well, this didn’t quite work out.
There are certain things that one needs to prioritize when broadcasting 144 baseball games in 152 days. One of those things, in my case, is sleep. And in a nutshell, continuing this blog would mean either waking up earlier or going to bed later. In a job where there are plenty of 11- or 12-hour days and when a day off typically happens once every three weeks, I’m prioritizing sleep over this blog.
This isn’t to try and put my job down (it’s a great one) or to try and gain some sort of pity – it’s simply to express that it’s impractical to try and continue doing this in a weekly, tri-weekly or bi-weekly fashion. And I’m not going to have a blog that’s not on a set schedule anymore. So, as I previously decided before the baseball season, Kevin Reviews Things is going on hiatus for the remainder of baseball season.
But I’m leaving you all with one final treat – a guest review from within the family. That’s right…it’s my dad, Ken Brown! This was a totally unsolicited review which showed up in my inbox yesterday. And – before we begin the end (for now) – I would like to make one thing perfectly clear…
THE WORDS LISTED BELOW ARE MERELY THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY KENNETH BROWN. THOUGH WE ARE MEMBERS OF THE SAME FAMILY, THE VIEWS BELOW ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE SAME SENTIMENTS SHARED BY THE OWNER OF KEVIN REVIEWS THINGS, AND ARE A MERELY A SERIES OF WORDS LISTED AS PREVIOUSLY WRITTEN BY A SEPARATE AUTHOR.
On we go…
Roger Clemens – Trial of the Century
Maybe the title is a little over the top, but this whole thing just really ticked me off!
I followed with great interest the recently concluded trial of Roger Clemens for perjury before Congress during a 2008 Congressional hearing on steroid use in baseball. Why, with all the serious issues facing our county and the world, Congress felt the need to hold not one but two hearings on steroids use in baseball is beyond me and most people I have spoken with about it, but that is a rant for another day. Now if you are reading this blog and are a friend of Kevin’s, I’m sure there is no need to state this, but for the record Roger Clemens was found innocent of all counts. Now let’s be clear about this – he was found innocent of lying about using steroids, not innocent of using steroids. So basically, this trial which costs the taxpayers millions of dollars accomplished absolutely nothing. The people who think he didn’t use steroids before the trial still believe that, and the people who think he did use steroids still believe that. I, and I think most relatively intelligent people, gun to your head, would say that Roger Clemens took steroids or some other performance enhancing drugs. OK, now that is out of the way.
Now, was I happy to hear he was found innocent? You bet I was, and for a number of reasons. First, and as I previously stated, what business did Congress have in holding hearings looking into the use of steroids in baseball or any sport for that matter? The first hearing they selected, what was it, six former and current baseball players and called them before Congress to answer their “questions” about the extent of steroids in baseball? (Editor’s note: It was six.)
Here is the rundown on the cast of characters from the first hearing: Sammy ‘no hablo ingles” Sosa, Mark “let’s not talk about the past” McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro (the Bill Clinton defense, say it loud and proud), Curt “I never met a microphone I didn’t like” Schilling (that is until he got before Congress) and Jose “yeah I did steroids and I am proud of it” Canseco. The one guy in the bunch who you thought might really have something useful to say who was not afraid to be outspoken was Curt Schilling, and for some reason he clammed up fasting then a clam at low tide. (I don’t know if that makes any sense, but you get the idea.) (Ed’s note: Nope.)
Now maybe the intent of the hearing was sound. Unfortunately, if you have ever had the misfortune to watch or worse, attend, a Congressional hearing, you know that most of their time is spent not asking questions but pontificating for the cameras so that they can pull some juicy sound bite to send out to their constitutions so they can get re-elected. (Ed’s note: I believe he meant “constituents”.) If anyone thinks that the Congressional leaders asking the questions care about baseball or any of the people playing baseball then you probably believe Alec Baldwin is a choir boy!!!! (Ed’s note: I like Alec Baldwin. I will not comment on his oratory skills.)
On a side note:
I have had the good fortune (tongue in cheek) to be called to four NYC Council hearings for my job, three of which I was under questioning by esteemed City Council members, and I can tell you that the next intelligent question I hear from one of them will be the first. The only good thing I can say about my experience is that two of the three biggest jerks that I was exposed to have since been exposed as law-breaking cheats and/or perverts. Are you listening, John Liu and Anthony Weiner? I’ll leave the third one unnamed, but I’m sure it will just be a matter of time before he is doing the perp walk along with his fellow council members. But I digress back to Roger Clemens. (Ed’s note: Once again, these views do not accurately represent the views of Kevin Review Things.)
Another reason I am happy he was found innocent is because I am hoping that now that the trial is over, and since there is no sentencing phase, I won’t have to listen to any more discussion about Brian McNamee, Roger Clemens, steroids, cotton balls, needles, DNA, Miller Lite Beer cans (unless being served one, of course), or any of the other characters associated with this mess. I wonder if all the discussion of the Miller Lite Beer can as the vehicle of choice to save DNA evidence has helped or hurt their brand name. (Food for thought.) (Ed’s note: Yum.)
Also, the whole idea that someone could be found guilty of lying to Congress and face up to 10 years in prison, when it seems everything that Congress and our government in general is based on is a big lie, seems someone ironic. (Ed’s note: I believe he meant “somewhat.”) One has to ask themselves when the members of Congress were questioning Clemens and McNamee during their hearing how they could keep from just bursting out in laughter while trying to keep a straight face trying to get to the “truth” of the matter. It reminds me of an old joke…How can you tell when a politician is lying? His lips are moving!!! (Ed’s note: Not embellished for extra exclamation points on my part.)
Now, I honestly could not care less about the whole steroid issue, as I think baseball players and athletes in general have always looked for something to give them a physical and mental advantage, and in my mind, steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs were just another chapter in this long story, albeit a very big chapter. I’ve always felt that no one started out thinking they were cheating; rather, that they found something which would give them a little boost, and lo and behold, it turned out to be a rocket boost. (No pun intended, well maybe….) (Ed’s note: I put the semi-colon in.) And don’t get me wrong, I am not a huge supporter of Roger Clemens! I think he is a tremendous athlete, who worked out to legendary proportions and committed himself to his profession 110%. He was as fierce a competitor while on the mound as anyone who came before him, sort of a throwback if you will. However, because of his huge ego he felt he could claim his innocence from the top of the mountain and no one would question him. He and his attorneys attacked McNamee with such vengeance that he may ultimately end up paying for it in the civil suit which McNamee has filed against him where the burden of proof is not so great. If what you read is correct, there was never any reason for him to put himself before Congress, and he could just as easily have issued the obligatory statement the he was innocent after the Mitchell Report came out, but instead he let his ego get the best of him, and if not for the grace of God and some fairly pathetic prosecutor he could be looking at spending some serious time in jail. (Ed’s note: That was a long sentence.) Hopefully, this serves as a wakeup call to him and he keeps a low profile, but somehow I just don’t see that happening.
Now let me get to what really ticks me off the most about all of this – and that is the hypocrisy of these sportswriters who are now coming out saying they are not going to vote Clemens into the Fall of Fame because he is linked to steroids, or any of what I will call the Big Five: Clemens, Bonds, Sosa, McGwire and Palmeiro because of their use or suspected use of steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs, for the “integrity of the game”! Now correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t most of these sportswriters covering baseball during the so-called “Steroids Era” and what did any of them do to protect the “integrity of the game”? That’s right, absolutely nothing! In fact, most of them were part of the hype during the McGwire vs Sosa home run derby that, they all so eloquently wrote, saved baseball following the strike. I’m sure they all had secondhand if not firsthand knowledge of steroid or other performance-enhancing drug use during that time, yet for whatever reason they chose not to expose it or report anything about it. Now they are all high and mighty and feel that they have to uphold the integrity of the Hall of Fame…Please give me a break! Just do what you are tasked to do, judge each player on their performance on the field and either elect or reject them based on those criteria and those criteria alone. If they feel a guy was a borderline Hall of Famer, and it was found the player took a performance-enhancing drug which might have helped their play a little, then factor that in and reject them. But for players like Bonds (who I can’t stand by the way) and Clemens whose talents were clearly evident before they were thought to have taken PED then they should be voted in.
Tim Kurkjian has the right idea as he plans on voting for Clemens and will not allow the use of PEDs to be the sole factor in rejecting someone from the Hall because he has no way of knowing who did and who didn’t use them.
This is a review, so here are my ratings.
Congress: Big Fat F
Major League Baseball: D for doing nothing at the time then finally acting well after the fact
Roger Clemens: D for Dope (more ways then one)
Kim Kurkjein: A for reporting he’s going to vote without prejudice by PED’s (Ed’s note: I believe that name is misspelled. But I’ve been wrong before.)
Hypocritical Sports Writers: F
Once again, thanks to my dad for an insightful and occasionally correctly spelled post. And thanks to everyone who reads and supports this blog for making it so much fun.
See you in September.